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Philips PowerPro Ultimate Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner review

Richard Easton
20 May 2016
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Philips PowerPro Ultimate side on
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
320
inc VAT as of 19th May

The Philips PowerPro Ultimate has serious suction but isn't the most manoeuvrable vacuum

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Specifications

Dimensions (HxWxD): 317x310x506mm, Weight: 6.2kg, Bin capacity: 2.2l, Vacuum Type: Cylinder, Bagless?: Yes, Vacuum power - stated (W): 650w 

When you first set eyes on the Philips PowerPro Ultimate you can tell it means serious business. While Numatic’s iconic Henry has a cutesy, kitschy charm, and Miele’s cylinder models are compact and unassuming, the PowerPro Ultimate sits at the more macho, high-tech end of the design spectrum. The lines down the side of the removable dustbin, in particular, make it look like the vacuum has flown straight off the set of The Force Awakens.

The PowerPro is certainly not small, measuring 506x310x317mm, so it will require a significant amount of space to stow away. The nozzle and head clips into the rear of the cylinder component and you can wrap the flexible tube around to try and neaten things up, but there’s still no avoiding that this is a large vacuum. Still, even considering its size, the 6.1kg weight is respectable.

Manoeuvrability

The PowerPro proved surprisingly nimble, too, thanks to the large tyre-like wheels on either side of the cylinder unit, and the smaller wheels on the cleaning head. It’s not the ball-joint you find on some vacuum heads, however, so isn’t quite as adept at articulating and manoeuvring around tight corners. It’s also not particularly wide, so you'll need to make a few more passes. Still, moving the vacuum around a room didn’t prove difficult or tiresome.


Philips PowerPro Ultimate wheels

There’s a 10m length power cord, which gives you a decent amount of reach when paired with the extra metre provided by the telescopic hose. It means you won’t have to find an outlet as often as you move around your home. The automatic retracting mechanism for the cord works well. A simple press of the button and the cord quickly draws back into the cylinder unit. You don’t even need to hold the button down.


Philips PowerPro Ultimate side

The hose extends and shortens in a seamless, quick manner so you can find a length suitable for your height, as well as for when you need to clean hard-to-reach areas.

Accessories

The PowerPro Ultimate comes with a selection of accessories, including a standard multipurpose head, a dedicated hard floor head, a 2-in-1 brush and small nozzle, and a crevice tool. The latter two accessories clip on to the extendable hose meaning they’re easily accessible, but there’s not anywhere to stow the hard floor head when not in use.


Philips PowerPro Ultimate accessories

The multipurpose head is designed to clean dust deep down in the carpet fibres. The head has a textured underside that's designed to open up gaps between the carpet tufts. There’s a large opening in the front of the head for larger particles and also brushes along the side to draw in dust along plinths and skirting. A lever can be used to activate the brushes for swapping between carpet and hard floor surfaces.

Performance

The Philips PowerPro Ultimate uses cyclone technology, similar to the method used in most bagless vacuum cleaners, where centrifugal force is used to separate the dust from the air inside the cylinder. Philips says its cyclone technology has been refined through having a straight and smooth air inlet with less air resistance.

In real world testing, the design looks to have contributed to some serious suction power. With an empty bin, our suction metre recorded 17kPa of suction power, which isn't as high as the recently tested Miele C3, although this isn’t a completely accurate measurement. When a perfect seal is created the suction metre would quickly accelerate to 17kPa but then the vacuum would find somewhere to vent the air to protect its motor, so it’s not possible to get an accurate top-end measurement.

Philips PowerPro Ultimate mode change

In testing, however, its suction power meant that sometimes the vacuum head would sometimes seal itself against the carpet with particularly short fibres. This does wonders for dislodging dirt, but isn’t so great unless you want an extensive workout when attempting to move the vacuum head around. 

Thankfully, there’s different venting settings that let some of the air escape and reduces the seal, which makes things a little easier. There’s a vent on the main cylinder unit that toggles between hard floor, carpet and upholstery and, slightly puzzlingly, another identical vent on the handgrip.

Oddly, there’s no reference to the handgrip vent in the manual so, in the end, I just experimented with different combinations of the two vents depending on the surface I was cleaning. The handgrip vent adjustment is where your thumb naturally sits, so I occasionally found myself sliding it by accident. But, overall, the ability to tweak suction power is welcome.


Philips PowerPro Ultimate carpet test

As for real-world performance. It performed excellently with our cat litter spill. I even stamped some of the cat litter deep into the carpet but after two passes it was all gone. There was the occasional loosely flung particle of cat litter but nothing too untoward.

Philips PowerPro Ultimate hard floor test

The PowerPro performed equally well with our hard floor baking powder spill, leaving only a little in the crack between tiles when using the multifunction head. When using the dedicated hard floor head, even the powder in the cracks was successfully removed after one pass.

Bin emptying and filters

The PowerPro’s bin has a capacity of 2.2l, which is a reasonable size. Emptying it is straightforward and simply requires you to press the eject button on the main unit. The bin then lifts straight out. Rather than the bin emptying out from the bottom as is the case with many other vacuums, the top cover flips up akin to how most kettles open up. You then need to tip the dirt out and there’s a spout-like shape to make emptying easier. I still would have preferred a bottom-emptying method, however, as I found the lid would eject a small plume of dirt on my hand when opening up.


Philips PowerPro Ultimate bin

A HEPA 13-rated exhaust filter is installed in the rear of the vacuum and this removes 99.95% of dust, which should be great news for allergy sufferers. This is meant to be replaced every two years and replacements cost £15 direct from Philips. There are also washable filters in the main bin compartment, which should be removed and washed every two months, which is arguably a little too much upkeep but this will depend on how regularly you vacuum. Removing the filters is at least very easy to do.

Conclusion

Philips PowerPro Ultimate top down

It’s not cheap, but for sheer suction power, the Philips PowerPro Ultimate can’t be beaten. In some regards, its abundance of power proves to be a slight hindrance, especially when it comes to manoeuvrability as it can soon become tiring. It’s arguably a little too powerful, as strange as that sounds. Its bin emptying method isn’t ideal and I would have liked to have seen more accessories for the price, such as those geared towards pet owners, but aside from that, the PowerPro Ultimate is an excellent performer that’s well built and simple to use. If you're not looking to spend as much, the Miele C3 is worth considering if you don't mind a bagged design. Otherwise, the PowerPro Ultimate gets our recommendation and an award to match. Buy Now from Amazon

 


Hardware
Dimensions (HxWxD)317x310x506mm
Weight6.2kg
Noise - Stated75dB
Cable length10m
Maximum reach11m
Bin capacity2.2l
Vacuum TypeCylinder
Bagless?Yes
Floor typesCarpet, hard
Telescopic tube?Yes
Auto Cord Rewinder?Yes
Accessories2-in-1 brush, crevice
Power and capacity
Vacuum power - stated (W)650w
Suction - empty (kPa)17 kPa
Suction - half full (kPa)17 kPa
Suction - full (kPa)16 kPa
Buying information
WarrantyTwo year RTB
Detailswww.philips.co.uk
Part codeFC9920/69

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